July 7, 2013

field trip: kaaterskill falls

Kaaterskill Falls, one of the highest waterfalls in New York, at about 250'
Documenting M's painting set-up at the Falls 
The bottom section of the Falls, just after a big rain
The top section of the Falls (can you believe there used to be a hotel at the top until 1965?)
A wild iris growing at the lake's edge  
Paddling through lily pads at North-South Lake
A Hudson River School Art Trail plaque showing Thomas Cole's painting of the lake
Pulling in to take in the same view as Thomas Cole
M out for a paddle  
The campfire 
On our way to North Point 
The mountain laurel was everywhere! So beautiful, and great-smelling too.
A toad spotted along the trail to Mary's Glen 
The view from Sunset Rock, one of our favorite spots in the area
A sailboat at sunset on North-South Lake 
A special surprise: a glow-in-the-dark lightstick 
M adding the contents of the lightstick to his bubble mixture 
Making giant bubbles at the lake 
The bubble as it is bursting 
Glowing in the dark 
Darkness descending over North-South Lake
The supermoon rising in the night sky

A few years ago, my husband M told me out about Kaaterskill Falls, a two-drop waterfall located a few hours north of the city in the eastern edges of the Catskills. He learned about it because it was the site and inspiration for the Hudson River School painters – including several paintings by Thomas Cole as well as the setting for Asher B. Durand's very famous painting, "Kindred Spirits." Usually we try to go places we can access using public transit , but we decided that this was well worth the exception.

So we borrowed a car from a friend and made our way out of the city and up the western side of the Hudson River. When we finally arrived at the Falls, we were awestruck by its natural beauty and history. We were walking and hiking in the footsteps of some of America's most important 19th c. painters. Needless to say, it has since become an annual trip and one of our favorite getaways out of the city and into nature.
. . . . .

We just returned from a week up at the Falls, the first time we brought our inflatable kayak (best purchase ever, especially for city living). Since this was our third time there and we are more familiar with the area, we were able to establish a good rhythm to our days – each morning we would pack a lunch and hike to the Falls or another scenic spot, and M would paint for a few hours while I read a book most appropriate to our trip. Then in the afternoons, we would take our kayak (and, ehem, a few beers) and go to the lake for a few hours of paddling. The evenings were spent around the campfire, cooking dinner, relaxing in the camping hammock, listening to the owls, eating s'mores, and playing lots of cards.

When we weren't making glow-in-the-dark bubbles and waiting for the supermoon to rise, that is.

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